Modification published on 01/30/2015
Modified February 21, 2013 – Update to Summary of Funding, page 4.
This announcement solicits applications for the Grants to States to Support Oral Health Workforce Activities Program. The purpose of this program is to help states develop and implement innovative programs to address the dental workforce needs of designated dental health professional shortage areas in a manner that is appropriate to the states’ individual needs.
Applications for this program should describe innovative approaches to addressing and measuring oral health workforce needs at the state level. Applications must address at least one of the following 13 activities:
1) loan forgiveness and repayment programs for dentists who:
agree to practice in designated dental health professional shortage areas;
are dental school graduates who agree to serve as public health dentists for the Federal, State, or local government; and
provide services to patients regardless of such patients’ ability to pay; and
use a sliding payment scale for patients who are unable to pay the total cost of services;
2) dental recruitment and retention efforts;
3) grants and low-interest or no-interest loans to help dentists who participate in the Medicaid program under title XIX of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396 et. seq.) to establish or expand practices in designated dental health professional shortage areas by equipping dental offices or sharing in the overhead costs of such practices;
4) the establishment or expansion of dental residency programs in coordination with accredited dental training institutions in States without dental schools;
5) programs developed in consultation with State and local dental societies to expand or establish oral health services and facilities in dental health professional shortage areas, including services and facilities for children with special needs, such as:
the expansion or establishment of a community-based dental facility, free-standing dental clinic, consolidated health center dental facility, school-linked dental facility, or United States dental school-based facility;
the establishment of a mobile or portable dental clinic; and
the establishment or expansion of private dental services to enhance capacity through additional equipment or hours of operation;
6) placement and support of dental students, dental residents, and advanced dentistry trainees;
7) continuing dental education, including distance-based education;
8) practice support through teledentistry in accordance with State laws;
9) community-based prevention services such as water fluoridation and dental sealant programs;
10) coordination with local educational agencies within the State to foster programs that promote children going into oral health or science professions;
11) the establishment of faculty recruitment programs at accredited dental training institutions whose mission includes community outreach and service and that have a demonstrated record of serving underserved States;
12) the development of a State dental officer position or the augmentation of a State dental office to coordinate oral health and access issues in the State; and
13) any other activities determined to be appropriate by the Secretary.
Applicants considering applying for funding to conduct activity number 13 should consult the recently released Institute of Medicine reports: Improving Access to Oral Health Care for Vulnerable and Underserved Populations and Advancing Oral Health Care in America for examples of appropriate activities. These reports assessed the current oral health system and resulted in recommended strategic actions to improve oral health care in the United States. Applicants are strongly encouraged to follow these recommendations to contribute to the goal of improving access to care for underserved and vulnerable populations. Examples of these recommendations include integration of oral health into the planning, program policies, and research that occur across state programs and agencies, and development of interprofessional, team-based approaches to the prevention and treatment of oral diseases. Implementation of these recommendations may be achieved by utilizing legislative activity number 13, “any other activities determined to be appropriate by the Secretary.”
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) works with tribal governments and with urban Indian and other organizations to facilitate greater consultation and coordination between State and tribal governments on health and human services. States are encouraged to work with tribal entities to facilitate greater consultation and coordination between State and tribal governments.